116 Suzie LeBlanc, soprano

Suzie LeBlanc, soprano

Les Voix humaines
Margaret Little, Susie Napper, Mélisande Corriveau, and Felix Deak, viols
Guest: Alison Melville, recorder,

Thursday, November 21, 2013, 1.30 PM
Walter Hall, University of Toronto
80 Queen’s Park (Museum Subway Station)

Early music is their specialty, but for this concert these artists depart into a programme of not just ancient and traditional music, but also modern songs, dances, and fantasias, as they celebrate the seasons of the year. Works by Purcell, Vivaldi, Browning, Le Jeune, Vigneault, Kosma, Prévert, Beckwith, Byrd, Lawes, Peerson, and Gershwin provide a whole new perspective on their expressive capabilities.

Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc specializes in early music, performing and recording repertoire ranging from lute songs to chamber music, oratorio, and early opera, but with particular emphasis on seventeenth and eighteenth century works. A versatile performer, she has also won plaudits for her exploration of French mélodies, Lieder, Acadian folk music, contemporary music, and the art of improvisation. Suzie LeBlanc has worked with many of the world’s leading early music ensembles in concert and opera performances, as well as on film and on disc. Suzie LeBlanc is artistic director of Le Nouvel Opéra (lenouvelopera.com), an organization that gives workshops in Baroque opera and oratorio at the Orford Arts Centre.

Susie Napper and Margaret Little founded the duo Les Voix humaines in 1985. They are often joined by some of Montreal’s finest young gambists to form Les Voix humaines Consort of Viols, and from time to time by other artists as well, including Alison Melville, recorder.  The Consort of Viols first performed together in 2004 for a performance of John Dowland’s Lachrimae. The ensemble made its début in France in 2010 at the prestigious Festival du Sablé, and recently performed three different programmes in Poland.

Margaret Little was born and raised in Montreal in a musical family, playing violin, piano, recorder, and guitar as a child. She discovered the viola da gamba at the age of eleven. Margaret Little has been performing since 1975 as a soloist and a chamber musician on the viola da gamba and baroque viola with many groups including the Studio de Musique ancienne de Montréal, Les Idées Heureuses, Arion, and Musica Divina.

Cellist, violist, gambist, and continuo player Susie Napper is known for her colourful, even controversial performances of both solo and chamber music repertoire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Originally from the United Kingdom, where as a child she had cello lessons from Pablo Casals, Susie Napper now lives in Montreal where she co-founded the Montréal International Baroque Festival and teaches at McGill.

A versatile musician, Mélisande Corriveau graduated from the Université de Montréal with a degree in recorder under Francis Colpron and a Master’s in viola da gamba under Margaret Little. She performs at home and abroad both as soloist and chamber musician with many ensembles, including Les Voix humaines, Les Boréades, Les Voix baroques, and Masques, of which she is a regular member.

As well as being a founding member of I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble, cellist/gambist Felix Deak showcases his career as a freelance musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Montreal’s Les Voix humaines.

A leading performer on recorder and historical flutes, Toronto-born Alison Melville began playing in an after-school class in junior school, in London, England. A member of the Toronto Consort, Ensemble Polaris, and artistic director of the multi-arts ensemble The Bird Project, Alison Melville also appears regularly with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Programme: The Seasons

  • Henry Purcell – Prelude to Juno’s song (The Fairy Queen)
  • Henry Purcell – Strike the Viol (Come ye Sons of Art away)
  • Spring
    Antonio Vivaldi – a primavera from “The Four Seasons” (excerpt from the Allegro, arr. Napper)
    Anonymous – This merry pleasant Spring
    Elway Bevin – Browning: The Leaves bee greene
    Claude Le Jeune – Revecy venir du printemps
  • Winter
    Antonio Vivaldi – L’inverno from “The Four Seasons” excerpt from the Largo, arr. Napper)
    Gilles Vigneault, Robert Bibeau – Petite berceuse du début de la colonie (arr. Little)
    Henry Purcell – Chaconne for the Inuit (Dance for the Chinese Man and Woman, The Fairy Queen)
    Henry Purcell – Cold Song (King Arthur)
  • John Beckwith – After Simpson – world première
  • Fall
    Antonio Vivaldi -L’autunno from “The Four Seasons” (excerpt from the Adagio molto, arr. Napper)
    Joseph Kosma – Les feuilles mortes (1945, arr. Napper)
    Joseph Kosma – Autumn Leaves
    William Byrd – The Woods so wild (arr. Little)
    William Lawes – Gather ye Rosebuds (arr. Napper)
    Martin Peerson – The Fall of the Leafe (arr. Little)
  • Summer
    Antonio Vivaldi – L’estate from “The Four Seasons” (excerpt from the Allegro non molto, arr. Little)
    Traditional – En montant la rivière (arr. Napper)
    Henry Purcell – Songster Chaconne – One Charming Night (Fairy Queen)
    George Gershwin – Summertime (arr. Jay Bernfeld)

All artists, dates, and programmes are subject to change without notice.

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